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The Toronto Raptors will travel to the TD Garden on Thursday night to take on the Boston Celtics in an Atlantic Division matchup. This will be the final game scheduled between the two teams as the Celtics have won the first two matchups, including a 120-106 Celtics home win on Feb 11. The Raptors are fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 17-17 record and this will be the second half of a back-to-back as they played the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. The Celtics are fourth in the Eastern Conference with an 18-17 record. They are riding a three-game winning streak after defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 117-112 on Tuesday.
These teams are very similar on both sides of the floor, especially on the defensive side, so it will be interesting to see which team can go on a run. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to decide where we should be placing our wagers
Tatum Back to Pre-COVID Levels?
Point guard Kyle Lowry has been leading the offense while the Toronto Raptors are dealing with a COVID outbreak. He is averaging 18 points, 5.7 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.2 steals in 34.3 minutes on the court. He is shooting above his career numbers as he is 46.6 percent from the floor, 40.5 percent from the three-point line, and 86.3 percent from the charity stripe. In his last game against the Rockets, Lowry played 33 minutes and finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, a steal, and a block. If he can figure out a way to record another triple-double in this game, they will be in a great spot.
The Toronto Raptors have an above-average defense in the league at this point as they are giving up 110.4 points per game, which ranks tied for seventh in the NBA. In their last game against the Houston Rockets, they allowed 111 points on 39-of-91 (42.9 percent) from the floor, 16-of-47 (34 percent) from beyond the arc, and shot 20 free-throws. If the Raptors can figure out how to defend without fouling, they will be in an even better spot.
Tatum Back to Pre-COVID Levels?
Small forward Jayson Tatum has been leading the offense for the Boston Celtics so far this season. He is averaging 24.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.5 steals in 35.7 minutes on the court. He is shooting around his career numbers as he is 43.3 percent from the floor, 36.4 percent from the three-point line, and 87.7 percent from the free-throw line. In his last game against the Clippers, Tatum played 40 minutes and finished with 14 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals, and three turnovers. If he can figure out how to play a lot better in this upcoming game, it will do wonders for the Celtics.
TIME LORD 🔨 pic.twitter.com/0zXKocEeXM
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 3, 2021
The Boston Celtics have an above-average defense in the league at this point as they are giving up 110.4 points per game, which is tied for seventh in the NBA. In their last game against the Los Angeles Clippers, they allowed 112 points on 43-of-87 (49.4 percent) from the floor, 18-of-38 (47.4 percent) from beyond the arc, and shot nine free-throws. If the Celtics can figure out how to defend the three-ball, it will do wonders for Boston.
- Boston: 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games
- Boston: 10-4 ATS in their last 14 home games
- Toronto: 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in the second of a back-to-back
- Toronto: 2-7 ATS in their last 9 Thursday games
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Toronto is in the midst of a COVID situation so it already is unknown which players will be available. Offensive rebound percentage is important as it leads to very good looks and extended possessions. The Raptors are 20th in the league at 21 percent while the Celtics are fifth in the league with 25.4 percent. The Raptors are 1-2 ATS in their last three games while the Celtics covered in two of the last three games. Go with the Boston Celtics to turn the corner and cover the spread at home here.
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
These teams shoot the ball at a good clip as the Raptors are seventh in the league at 38.3 percent from beyond the arc while the Celtics are 12th in the league shooting 37.1 percent from distance. Toronto is averaging 220.3 total points in their last four games while Boston is averaging 229.8 total points in the same span of time. The over has hit in nine of the Raptors last 11 road games while the Celtics had the over hit in six of the last eight games. All in all, go with the over in this game.